The Moment that Comes After Was Once the Future

It will follow you 
as you walk with your hand
in your mother's down the hill,
the pines towering in mid-
afternoon heat, their spires

waiting to be lit
later by the darker fire
shed by the sun going down:
that sense of the future
just waiting to pounce

on the moment
like the breath of a dog
snarling at your heels as you
pass the gate to which
its owner has tied it.

It's only a simple
errand: maybe to bring back
butter and a loaf of bread.
But she has put on a clean
dress, a pair of black

sling-back pumps, sprayed
a scent along her wrists
and neckline: something
like Jean Patou or Chanel
No. 5. Coming back, you look

in the window of every store.
She nods and smiles at the Indian
shopkeepers, Mr. Bheroomull,
Mr. Assandas; and the Chinese
manager of the dry goods

store. They bow back.
There are glass shelves
in the front with alarm
clocks and wristwatches
you need to wind every day

so they keep the correct
time. There are notions and
bolts of cloth in every color.
And the dog still chafes at his
chain as you make your way home.

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